So far, this has been an unseasonably cool summer – well almost summer, and, in fact, it has been downright chilly at times. While the temps may be slightly on the rise this week, it’s still perfect weather to enjoy the desert, specifically, La Quinta Resort and Club.
Situated on 45 acres and surrounded by the Santa Rosa Mountains, the views are reason enough to visit La Quinta. However, with all of the amenities the resort has to offer, there are plenty of other reasons to visit this popular resort destination. From golf, to tennis, dining and spectacular spa services, Camp La Quinta for the kids, and the most refreshing pools, La Quinta is sure to please everyone in your mini-van.
Golf while staying at La Quinta is the quintessential experience at PGA West, which includes five legendary courses, like the Mountain, Nicklaus and Norman Courses, the Arnold Palmer Course and the Stadium Course. The expansive fairways, and perfectly manicured greens will make your golf outing unforgettable.
For summer, special golf packages are being offered. The Desert Links package includes overnight guestroom accommodations, unlimited golf on five resort courses, a $25 resort dining credit, and no resort fees. Rates start at $229 per night.
For the Drive and Dive package, guests receive 50% off advertised golf rates during the date of your stay. Golf twilight rates start at $39 for the Dunes Course, and sunset rates start as low as $29. With prices like these, golf is a “must do” on your La Quinta vacation stay.
Golf may be one of the main attractions at the resort, but the Spa is equally as appealing. Surrounded by vibrant gardens and views of the Santa Rosa Mountains, the spa is a tranquil setting to experience ultimate relaxation. Voted as one of the top 50 spas in the country in 2010, the Spa at La Quinta has introduced a new treatment for summer – the hydrafacial, a non-invasive skin resurfacing and rejuvenation that reduces fine lines wrinkles, and signs of aging. Another popular treatment that exfoliates the skin is the California Essential, an organic body brushing treatment that awakens the skin and allows the absorption of nutrient rich avocado lotion while wrapped in a customized body cocoon. The inhalation of eucalyptus oil aids in muscle relief as you drift into a dream state – or at least I did. Head, neck and feet massage rounds out the treatment, with the brush being your gift to keep.
The spa menu is quite extensive, with treatments ranging from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. The adjoining salon is offering a few specials for June, like the Perfect Blow Out for $65 and the Open Your Eyes Manicure for $45. The June salon specials are good Monday-Wednesday only.
If you’re looking to cool off in one of La Quinta’s numerous pools, the main pool area features cabanas, food and beverage service, and a playground for children. However, there are 41 pools and 53 jacuzzis on the property, just steps from nearly every guestroom.
When it comes to dining at La Quinta, guests can relax casually at the Adobe Grill or at Twenty6, or experience an elegant evening at Morgan’s in the Desert. We shared a late lunch at Twenty6 when we arrived, of French onion soup, mini cheeseburgers from the bar menu, and a fabulous jumbo crab cake. They offer several beers on tap, which change regularly, and a nice wine list, including 20 wines by the glass. The clubby atmosphere features dark woods, red upholstered booths and a warm feeling. The dinner menu features many of the same lunch dishes yet adds some sophisticated entrées, like a bone-in ribeye, and filet Oscar with fingerling potatoes. I was craving a shrimp cocktail (not on the menu) but was eagerly served six plump shrimp with the traditional cocktail sauce.
Morgan’s in the Desert is a popular draw for the resort, from both resort guests and locals looking for one of the best meals in the desert. The lively bar was filled with well-dressed guests, sipping champagne cocktails, and martinis while waiting for a table. I had a vintage cocktail – a French 75 made with Champagne, cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup – and lingered at the bar while a pianist tickled the ivories. OK, forgive me – but it was all very nostalgic. The hacienda style room with beamed ceilings and warm colors give an elegant and sophisticated feel, with a rustic hint.
Once we were seated, we ordered a few starters, like the crispy baby Coachella artichokes with almonds, olives and smoked chile oil. While they were tasty, the seared salt and pepper-crusted foie gras stole the show. The dish was accompanied with caramelized pluots and wild mushrooms, a very succulent and special creation.
For entrées, the menu ranges from fish and seafood, to meat and game, and prime certified Angus beef. The seared Maine diver sea scallops are served with an English pea and saffron infused risotto, perfectly paired ingredients. Smoked almond-crusted rack of lamb was beautifully prepared and the pan roasted duck and foie gras – too hard to pass for the main course – was tender and divine.
If you order from the chargrill, you may want to pair your steak with sides, like the five cheese macaroni gratin, or the smoked paprika fries. Whatever you choose, chef Jimmy Schmidt will not disappoint. I enjoyed every dish he presented, and was equally impressed with the wait staff. Restaurant manager John Healy takes great pride in his work and leads by example. He made our evening very pleasurable.
Just like Twenty6, the wine lst offers easily 20 wines by the glass, and wines by the bottle cover Santa Barbara, Napa Valley, Sonoma, France, Australia, and the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
I chose a light dessert after two servings of foie, the blood orange crème brulée. My daughter however, was intrigued by the buttered popcorn ice cream parfait. It really tasted like buttered popcorn – amazing. The bittersweet chocolate fudge and sea salted caramel drizzled over the top, nearly sent me over the top. When is the last time you saw a brandy Alexander or a grasshopper on the after dinner drink menu? They remind me of my parents – a wistful touch harking back to when the Hollywood elite would escape to the desert for some R&R, and a bit of hob-nobbing. We strolled back to our casita, enjoying the cool desert night air.
La Quinta Resort and Club has beckoned Angelenos to the desert since 1926. Over the years, the resort has grown and developed, offering bigger guestrooms with better amenities. The lush grounds are well-manicured and maintained. The Spa offers luxurious relaxation. The golf is world-class, and the dining is impeccable. Nostalgic hints of old-world Hollywood are imbued throughout the resort, offering all the grandeur of days gone by, with all the benefits of 21st Century technology and amenities.
La Quinta Resort and Club continues to be a legendary vacation destination just 90 miles from Los Angeles. With rates starting at $109 per night, La Quinta is the place to be – and be seen this summer.
La Quinta Resort and Club 49-499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, California 92253; 1-760-564-4111; www.laquintaresort.com.
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